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Facebook is certainly growing its video capability, in an effort that could eventually rival YouTube. On the company’s Q3 2015 earnings call, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg disclosed that the social network sees more than 8 billion video views from 500 million users on a daily basis. This is a 100 percent growth rate since April, when Facebook reported 4 billion daily video views.
In the past quarter, Facebook has been working to enhance its core product to ensure that video has the support it needs. With this in mind, the company debuted a livestream option through its Mentions app, added support for interactive 360 degree video, and more. And getting users accustomed to watching videos on Facebook could pave the way for Oculus Rift to begin selling its consumer headset and for the advent of virtual reality videos on the site.
Already people are drawing comparisons between Facebook and YouTube, mostly spurred by the former’s recent enhancements, including a dedicated video feed, support for more videos within Instagram (a la Twitter Moments), and its pursuit of premium advertisers with large TV budgets. Assuming that the measurements are similar, in 2012, Google disclosed that YouTube had 4 billion video views a day.
But whereas YouTube excels at longer-form content, the question remains whether we will soon see the equivalent for Facebook. Zuckerberg said probably not, because the more natural starting point for the social network is around shorter-form content. What people are looking for in their News Feed is smaller clips, not necessarily full-length TV shows. He added that the company is already seeing folks like Jimmy Fallon break up their show into clips that can be consumed within 3 to 7 minutes right within the News Feed.
Zuckerberg believes that the current market for shorter clips is massive, and admits Facebook is far from having mastered the space. In fact, he hopes that what traditional media and content producers will do is “chunk up their stuff to make sure that it’s more easily consumed by this large community online.”
When it comes to video discovery, Zuckerberg remarked that the company has a clear roadmap for the next few years to “add more dimensions to the video experience on Facebook.” An example would be finding ways to show users videos from Pages that they’ve liked or follow. “We’re still so early on this,” he said.
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